As a teacher, what I wanted the most was to know that I had made an impact on my students. I wanted to know that the time in the classroom and the work I took home each night had been worthwhile.
Every day you work towards meeting your students' various needs and helping them learn and grow. Sometimes it is impossible to know how you have impacted their lives.
May 3rd is Teacher Appreciation Day, so you might be considering giving a special teacher a gift. Here are some thoughts on what will be most appreciated from my experience as a teacher.
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The best teacher gifts I have ever received, the ones that end up in a scrapbook or memory box or sit prominently on a shelf, are those that are personal and come from the heart. Sure it's nice to get chocolate, or a new notepad, but a hand written note is really something that leaves an impact. These are my most treasured gifts, notes from students and parents.
The best notes are not forced and come from the heart. How can you get your child to write a super appreciation note? Give them a prompt. Kids usually know just what to say when given the chance. Here are some ideas:
- What was your most favorite thing you learned in Mrs. or Mr. _____________ class this year?
- Why do you like Mrs. or Mr. ________________ as a teacher?
- What is something that Mrs. or Mr. ________________ does that makes you feel special?
- Why is this your favorite subject?
- What is the funniest thing that happened in class this year?
Even grown-ups appreciate the teachers they had when they were students. Check out this great series of letters: "Dear Teacher, You Made A Difference!"
If you'd like to purchase a teacher gift, remember to make it personal. Teachers have a lot of students through the years. Most likely they aren't in great need of another mug that has an apple on it. Try to get a sense of what your child's teacher is interested in. Kids are usually pretty observant when it comes to knowing what a person likes!
Some of my favorite personalized purchased gifts like this have been from families who recognized my love for plants, or that I really do love geeking out on science stuff. One year I got this Giant Sequoia tree-growing kit. Another year some of the silly plush microbes from the "Giant Microbes" collection.
One of my most favorite "teacher" themed gifts was the sweet little book, "Thank You: A Book for Teachers" by Sandy Gengras, it really captures the classroom experience in some short text and sweet illustrations.
Also keep in mind that teachers have often spent money out of pocket to provide school supplies for their classroom. A gift card for a retailer where they can get just about anything, like Amazon or Target, a local restaurant, book store or their favorite coffee shop is generally appreciated.
Good luck with your teacher appreciation gift! Just remember, it's not about how much you spend, even a few thankful words at drop-off or pick-up time can make a huge difference.
Check out what other great bloggers are saying about Teacher Appreciation!
- 3 Dinosaurs- What is Teacher Appreciation? Plus Free Printable
- Thriving STEM- The secret to giving the gift your child's teacher wants
- Planet Smarty Pants- Dear Teacher, I appreciate you, But...
- Encourage Play- Dear Mrs. O'Neill, You Made a Difference in My Life
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